Reassurance

To all of you reading who are new to the world of Broken Ankleism.

I’m imagining that you, dear reader, are at the beginning of your journey.  You’re freshly dispatched from A&E with a Backslab cast and you’re wondering what the hell has happened to your life in the past 24 hours.  I’ve been blogging about my inner feelings for the past few weeks, but I felt that a summarising post was necessary.  A post that you can quickly refer to, just to reassure yourself that you are normal.

So here are the key feelings that you may experience.

  1. If you are used to being the housewife/husband and your partner has taken over, nothing they do in the first 14 days will be right or up to your “standards”.
  2. You will feel guilty that you’re not doing anything
  3. You will feel useless and like a burden
  4. You will feel totally overwhelmed that you will be off your feet for at the very least 6 – 8 weeks, and in reality it’s going to be more like 12 weeks before you’re back in the saddle.  Actually that thought still overwhelms me (I’m 5 weeks in) so I’m not going to read that back to myself.
  5. You will worry if you ever will be able to walk “normally” again.
  6. You will regret not walking your dog for 10 miles a day while you had the chance.
  7. You will worry about your job.
  8. You will start to go stir crazy.
  9. You will watch rubbish like The Jeremy Kyle show – and wish that you could walk 10 miles with your dog just to avoid daytime TV.
  10. You will make mental lists about what you’re going to do when you are able to walk again.  If you never had a bucket list before, you will make one now.  Mine includes visiting the Grand Canyon and the Shoes by the River Exhibit in Budapest.  Best get a passport then…..
  11. You will think that you will NEVER be able to control your crutches.  You will.  I promise.
  12. You will discover you have a temper.  In the early days you will lose the plot at the slightest thing or if someone/something isn’t in the right place at the right time.  Reassurance for your loved ones – this does get better.  It’s gradually improving for me anyhow.
  13. You will miss driving and your independence.
  14. You will wonder if you’ll be able to weight bear without your ankle snapping again immediately.
  15. You will feel slightly jealous at some point of those that can drive or those that are independent.
  16. You will think about events that you’ve got planned for the year ahead and wonder if you’ll be able to cope.
  17. You will enjoy, for a brief period, being the centre of attention.  That stops when you realise how long you will be out of service.
  18. You may have a period of time where you sink under covers and feel very blue.  You will seriously consider the possibility of hibernation for the duration of your recovery.
  19. You will realise what’s really important in life.
  20. This will change you.

I’m sure, being at week 5 myself, I will continue to be able to add to that list as the weeks go on.  It’s really important that you know that you’re not alone.  There are others in exactly the same position.  And most importantly you’re not alone in how you feel.  Your feelings are normal.  You will recover.  That last point is what I’m hanging onto myself right now.

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Reality Check

Week 2.  And a kick up the bum

I really am going to have to do this another way.  I went to the hospital yesterday for my check up. Ankle was found to be in a non-satisfactory position.  Cast was whipped off (well, sawn off with that vibrating circular saw from hell) and my ankle was then moved into a totally new position.  I didn’t swear, I just stuck my top in my mouth and bit down.  After 5 minutes of my foot being held in the new position I didn’t feel the pain anymore….so it’s official….I’m hardcore.  In the grand scheme of things I’m not.  The folks who have hardware in their ankle are hardcore.  I am just so grateful I never had to endure that. I had a new cast to hold my foot, and another x-ray and sent home for another 4 weeks.  The Consultant said that when I go back hopefully the cast can come off and I can go into a boot.

However.  The swelling I have is not good.  And the Nurse picked up on this straight away.  I got a telling off.  And yep, she was right on everything she said, so I’m abandoning my to-do list because this isn’t a race.  I escaped pins and plates by the skin of my teeth and there is nothing to say that in 4 weeks, if my ankle hasn’t repaired well, the decision won’t be made to put pins in then!  And that really would be the end of the world for me.  The bottom line is I’m trying to do too much and I’m not resting enough.  Attempting to load washing machines or trying to live as I did before in any way is not an option as things stand at the moment.  I am still going to attempt to get around the house a bit more BUT in short bursts, and actually not for the next few days at least as I need to get this swelling down.  I’m at the stage evidently (2 weeks in) where the swelling is at its worst, so I really need to behave and be kind to myself.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

 

 

 

 

The little things

I think we all have a well-meaning person in our lives.

They think that by telling you not to feel sorry for yourself and to get up and crack on you will recover much quicker.  This is not so.  And I seem hell-bent on learning this the hard way.

I should have known.  The same person told me to get my coat on and get my baby in the buggy and take a walk (uphill) to the shop less than 10 days after my C-section.  I did it, thinking fresh air would do me good – and ended up with a really nasty infection in my scar.  These people are the ones who are all too happy to give you advice over the phone, but they are never the ones who will show up or even offer to come over and help.  And if their conscience does prick them, they show up for a day and then tell you they are ill and can’t possibly help out in any other way….but they will always “be at the end of the phone” should you need them.

And then there are the people, who despite fighting many battles of their own, offer to drop everything, drive many miles, and get everything back in order housework wise!  And you know that they mean it and they would absolutely help you.

There are others that can’t help, and you don’t expect them too….but they throw you a vital lifeline in the form of constructive advice about crutch use (because they used to work in this kind of field), and they loan you a laptop indefinitely that becomes your absolute lifeline to the outside world.  You know, that had their own situation been better they would’ve been on the doorstep when you got home from hospital with everything under control.

It really is a case of the little things counting at the moment.

The point of me saying all this, isn’t to shame anyone or to make them look bad, but just to highlight my thoughts.  It really is when the chips are down that you discover who you can really count on, and who you never really could.

So.  After that period of digression, let me tell you about my day so far (it’s 11.30am)

I’ve just dragged a duvet cover full of wet laundry back upstairs to go in the dryer after I was told that I needed to stop relying on others and just get on with it over the phone yesterday.  Whilst I was downstairs I made myself some breakfast and a coffee (go me!), and now I’m back upstairs and I am completely. done. in. I’m back on the bed, typing this, wondering where I’m going to get the strength from to go back into the bathroom, get washed and dressed and ready for my hospital appointment in two hours time.  My advice giver has rung my phone out twice this morning, and I really can’t be bothered to answer.  I know they mean well, but I just can’t deal with hearing anymore right now.  I won’t be dragging any more laundry anywhere.  I’m going to basically sit on my butt now and bark orders.  No more listening to any advice from anyone who isn’t qualified to give it!

Before this, I thought it was easy to get on with normal life minus one leg…just a case of finding a different way of doing stuff.  But it’s a lot more complex.  So many different factors come into play and not just practical ones.  But the upshot of all this is, this situation is just temporary.  I will be back on my feet at some point soon.  I just need to accept that for now, I need to rest and I need to recover.  Maybe I need to use this lovely laptop to draw up a housework rota for my family who are just getting on with their lives. They are helping when I ask, but my teenagers seem to have lost the ability to switch a vacuum cleaner on.  I have a fantastic idea!  Maybe I should fashion one of my crutches into a some sort of cattle prod….any lame excuses and they get zapped!

Don’t put that idea past me……